• Paul McCartney regularly flew on Concorde, often bringing his guitar and inviting fellow passengers to join in impromptu sing-alongs of Beatles songs at supersonic speeds.
  • Queen Mother Elizabeth celebrated her 85th birthday aboard Concorde, giving her the thrilling experience of supersonic flight from the cockpit jumpseat.
  • Michael Jackson found inspiration for his music on Concorde, even writing the song "Billie Jean" 50,000 feet in the air and having to remember it until he could record it later.

Concorde was a remarkable feat of engineering and represented perhaps the pinnacle of luxury air travel during its time in service. It was even often preferred over private jets for many transatlantic flights due to its impressive speed and level of luxury. From its commercial debut in the 1970s until its retirement in 2003, this supersonic jet attracted many of the world's most prestigious and famous passengers. Let's look at five famous Concorde passengers who left a mark on the iconic airliner's history.

1 Paul McCartney

Singer/Songwriter - The Beatles

Paul McCartney was known to bring his musical talents to Concorde's cabin when jetting between London and New York. When he boarded the plane for transatlantic flights, he was often accompanied by a travel companion — his guitar. John Lennon, another member of The Beatles, is also said to have regularly flown on Concorde.

Lawrence Azerrad, the author of "Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde," recalls that McCartney often invited his fellow passengers to join along in impromptu sing-alongs of Beatles classics while cruising at super sonic speeds at heights of 60,000 feet. According to the New York Post, McCartney saw the crash site of American Airlines Flight 587 from the window of the Concorde landing at JFK.

2 Queen Mother Elizabeth

British Royal Family

Queen Mother Elizabeth, the former Queen of the United Kingdom and mother of Queen Elizabeth II (who herself first flew aboard Concorde in 1977), took to the skies in Concorde to celebrate her 85th birthday in 1985. Born before the Wright brothers' first flight, her birthday celebration aboard Concorde allowed her to experience supersonic flight from the cockpit jumpseat.

Queen Mother Elizabeth's flight took her around Britain at nearly twice the speed of sound, providing her with a thrilling aerial perspective. The flight was a long time in the making. Although she first requested to make the flight some ten years earlier, she was not allowed to at the time due to concerns about the then-newness of Concorde's technology.

3 Michael Jackson


The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, not only used his time on Concorde for traveling but also for creative brainstorming. It is reported that on Concorde, Jackson found inspiration for some of his music, including the song "Billie Jean."

According to, the singer once remarked,

“Songs come at the strangest times. I could be walking through the park, it’ll just hit you. I wrote a song in a Concorde, 50,000 feet in the air, and I didn’t have a tape recorder, so I had to remember it. I got home and put it on tape. They just come.”

4 Phil Collins


Musician Phil Collins made headlines for his travels during the Live Aid benefit concert in 1985. Thanks to Concorde, Collins performed on both sides of the Atlantic on the same day — first in London's Wembley Stadium and later in Philadelphia's JFK Stadium.

Following his Wembley performance, Collins embarked on a whirlwind trip that involved a helicopter ride, a supersonic Concorde flight to New York City, and another helicopter to the second show. While not necessarily impossible today, not having the supersonic speed of Concorde would definitely make such a feat a lot more of a logistical nightmare, considering the time that would be needed.

5 Sarah Ferguson

Author/Television Personality/British Royal Family

The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, embraced Concorde's speed on a regular basis. She is even thought to have incorporated the iconic aircraft into her daily routine at times, having once said,

"What's great about it is I'm able to take my children to school at 8.30 in the morning, drop them off, then take BA flight 001 at 10.30am to New York, and get to New York at 9.30am, in time for my Weight Watchers meetings and speeches."

Ferguson's utilization of Concorde reflects its significance not only as a mode of luxurious travel but also as a practical tool for time management.

Concorde carried no shortage of A-list passengers. Who are some of the other distinguished travelers who once rode aboard the supersonic jet? Let us know in the comments below.

Sources: New York Post, Vanity Fair, UPI,, The Guardian, Ultimate Classic Rock